Something that I love about God is that He will often do something for me that He had kept me from doing before. For example, maybe you really want a certain job. You do everything in your power to get that job, but they hire someone else. Then one day – maybe weeks later, maybe years later – you get a call, and it’s about the job. They want you, no competition necessary. Why would God keep you from the job at first, just to give it to you later? Maybe it was the timing, or maybe it was your intent that didn’t line up with His design. That second possibility is what we will look at in the text today.
Just a chapter before Abram comes into the picture, we have the history of Babel (see my previous post entitled The God of Life is Patient). God halted the plans of the masterminds behind the tower to heaven for a couple of reasons, one of which was their desire to make a name for themselves. Specifically, they wanted to defy God’s command to spread out and fill the earth. And now, with Abram? Check out the text below. God tells Abram in no uncertain terms that He (God) wants to make Abram’s name great. Don’t miss why God wants to do this. This isn’t a trick. God wants to use the greatness of Abram’s name – the nation that his family will be made into by God’s power – in order that it will be a blessing to all of the families on earth. That includes you, me, your best friend, and your worst enemy. God’s purpose in setting Abram apart is not elitism or favoritism; it is a matter of blessing for everyone on Earth.
“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'” – Genesis 12:1-3